Wavemakers for offshore engineering

Wavemakers for offshore engineering and hydrodynamic vessel tests (3D basins and towing tanks)

Wavemakers are used to realistically simulate wave conditions in a physical model. Engineers and scientists investigating wave processes, or testing the design of offshore fixed and floating structures or ship hull handling, must be able to simulate a wide range of wave conditions. We are proud to have supplied wave generation systems and instrumentation to more than 300 institutions worldwide.

Innovation in wave generation

We’ve been modelling coastal and marine structures for more than 70 years, and we use this expertise to design state-of-the-art physical wave generation systems for use in offshore and hydrodynamic research facilities. We also supply the full suite of instrumentation and software needed to reliably collect and analyse results. Because our designs have been rigorously proven in use for our own research and consultancy projects, you can be confident that they satisfy the most stringent user requirements.

All our wavemakers can generate a suite of regular, irregular, long and short-crested waves for deep water applications and come equipped with HR Wallingford’s Active Wave Absorption System for precise control of wave conditions within your wave basin or towing tank.

Hinge flap wavemakers for deep water

This type of wavemaker is best suited to deeper water applications and is often used for ship manoeuvring basins and towing tanks.

The wavemaker comprises a paddle that is hinged either on the bottom of the flume or on a raised supporting structure / concrete shelf. The movement of the paddle is typically limited to ±15 degrees to prevent wave distortion. The design of this wavemaker ensures all of the drive actuation system is kept well above the water level with the use of a flexible belt and quadrant to drive the paddle. For wider deep water flumes and towing tanks a dual or multi-element actuator system is used to achieve the required wave heights.

The design of the hinge wavemaker support frame means that it can be incorporated into basins and towing tanks with a two point fixing system that allows the modules to be easily removed for periodic maintenance.
The control system for the hinged flap wavemaker is the same as our piston type wavemaker.

Product features
  • Generates short and long-crested random waves at normal and oblique angles using HR Merlin signal generation software 
  • Active Wave Absorption guarantees precise control of wave conditions
  • Wet-backed piston paddles ensure that performance is not limited by stroke for shallow water applications
  • Stainless steel construction delivers a design life in excess of 20 years
  • Digital AC servo motors provide precise control and rapid response 
  • Multi-element wavemakers are supplied in four or five paddle modules for ease of installation
  • Easy to maintain with all precision components above water 
  • Hinge flap wavemakers are designed for easy removal of modules for maintenance task
  • Our wavemakers use HR Merlin wave generation software

Custom-built wavemakers with support at every stage

As a hugely experienced user and supplier of wavemakers, instrumentation and software we know that nothing is ever standard. We’re constantly developing new products, upgrading and customising existing ones, and looking to develop new techniques and technologies to meet the constant demands of our own engineers and scientists. We recognise that our customers face the same challenges.

Our early involvement will ensure a smooth integration of the wavemaker system within the civil structure. Our design engineers are able to provide detailed information early in the project delivery to allow the civil works to be progressed, making installation a straightforward task. We also provide commissioning, training and on-going support.

Multi-element wavemaker brochure